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Artificial Lift Techbook 2019

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HartEnergy.com | April 2019 | 43 ARTIFICIAL LIFT: AUTOMATION AND WELLSITE MONITORING reservoir engineers, production engineers and data analysts, to help realize more value. "Our world is more production with less interven- tion and more data for less uncertainty," Makin said. "That's where we are headed." Automating artificial lift Today's automation and monitoring systems are leveraging the latest technologies that have similarly helped transform other industries like retail, finance and health care. Companies like Silverwell, Apergy, Ambyint, Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE) and Weatherford, among a host of others, apply artificial intelligence, machine learning and Industrial Inter- net of Things capabilities into their offerings for every type of artificial lift system. Ambyint's automation system includes a device it refers to as an "edge controller" that integrates operations at the well site and includes a commu- nication device controllable from anywhere in the world via satellite or WiFi. "About 300,000 wells probably have nothing but a motor and a cheap mechanical timer," said Alex Robart, CEO of Ambyint. "That's the majority of wells out there. We implement a version of our edge controller that serves as the production controller." The edge controller system takes the manual man- agement of a well's artificial lift operations out of the hands of the lift technician or engineer, Robart said. Silverwell's Digital Intelligent Artificial Lift (DIAL) production optimization system for gas-lift wells integrates temperature and pressure gradient mon- itoring with a gas injection rate control capability. Each in-well DIAL unit can have up to six injection orifices, each individually controlled from the surface, with a full spectrum of injection rate options for the well operator. This means it's not reliant on annulus pressure and a pre-determined orifice size to maintain gas injection rates. Makin explained that DIAL in-well units are strategically installed at various points in the well via coiled tubing. "So what we are driving toward is a multiwell, continually optimized and fully automated gas-lift production optimization system," he said. Apergy's SMARTEN Total Asset Manager is a well monitoring, control and analysis system that offers remote monitoring, adjustment and optimization. The system's integrated automation and variable speed drives are used to improve efficiencies in rod lift applications, electric submersible pumps (ESP), progressing cavity pumps and hydraulic pump sys- tems by managing the operating speeds and providing event history tracking and logging, which track motor activity and control, according to the company. The downloadable datasets can be wirelessly transmitted to offsite operations personnel for review. "The evolution of a Production Intelligence based architecture allows for mobility of higher level appli- cations that have historically resided at the software platform and are getting pushed out to the field, so they're closer to the actual end devices and the actual artificial lift equipment," said Ron Holsey, vice presi- dent, Production Optimization for Apergy. BHGE's ProductionLink artificial lift monitor- ing systems monitor all forms of artificial lift, detect anomalies and help select optimal set point values. The platform provides secure, remote access to authorized users from anywhere in the world, said Anil Wadhwa, BHGE artificial lift digital transformation leader. "If you were a production optimization engineer based in Houston and there is an electrical submers- ible pump running in Siberia, you can monitor and analyze well and lift equipment condition, and change the pump operating parameters in real time," he said. In May 2017, Weatherford unveiled its ForeSite production optimization platform for a variety of lift types. ForeSite leverages advanced analytics, cloud computing and IoT capabilities to predict lift failures and production rates and to choose the optimal lift system for a particular well. "Not only can you monitor and optimize your wells, but you can also convert decisions into action items," said Manoj Nimbalkar, global vice president, Production Automation and Software at Weather- ford. "All of the optimization decisions you have made, you can send those out as instructions to a rig crew to take appropriate actions." Ambyint's Amplify real-time controller (orange device on gray box) is applied to a wellsite production system. (Photo courtesy of Ambyint)

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